CONCEPT: Over the last decade, almost all businesses, large and small have adopted Drug-Free
Workplace Policies. The majority of students in high school work; however, only a small number are
involved in work preparation classes. High school students need to know about the content of
drug-free workplace policies and the consequences of alcohol and other drug use on the job.
POST-TEST: After the information portion of the activity, ask the class:
What is the purpose of a drug-free workplace policy?
What does a typical drug-free workplace policy include?
What substances might be prohibited in the workplace?
What is the purpose of random drug testing?
What are some consequences of policy violations?
Discuss the types of organizations, institutions and businesses that would or should have a
policy (list on board.) Form small groups and instruct teams to choose one of the organization,
institution or business from the list on the board and create a drug-free workplace policy for it.
Ask each team to share its policy.
DISCUSSION: After the presentation of the students' policies, facilitate a class discussion
using the following questions and note the differences in policies.
Why did you choose the organization, institution or business?
Why do you think it is important for this entity to have a drug-free workplace policy?
Did the policies include the testing requirements?
Did the policies include consequences for violation of the policies?
Did the policies allow employees a second chance? Why?
Did the policies address what would happen if an employee violates the policy and
his/her actions result in an accident, injury, death and/or legal suits?
Did the policies include Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)?
DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE POLICIES.
P0LICY CONTENTS: The majority of drug-free workplace policies usually cover the unlawful manufacture,
distribution, dispensing, possession, sale, purchase or use of controlled substances, alcoholic
beverages and inhalants on the premises of the business or while an employee is representing the
organization off-premises (sales reps, truck drivers, etc.). Most include a definition of
intoxication and may set a blood alcohol level or concentration at or below that used by the state
to determine intoxication. Some organizations extend the policy to include volunteers and consultants
and others working for the organization on a donated service or contract basis.
OVER-THE-COUNTER: Many organizations have policies that also restrict the use of over-the-counter
medications while on the job, specifically those medications which warn about the dangers of using
the medication while operating a vehicle or handling equipment. Such over-the-counter medications
include cold, flu and sinus discomfort medications, cough medications, and some headache and pain
NOTIFICATION: Some policies require employees to notify their supervisors when they are taking
pain medications and/or any medication with drowsiness, mental confusion or sleepiness as side
TESTING: If the organization elects to use testing, the policy may include information on
pre-employment and/or on-the-job testing. Most organizations hire a certified, independent
laboratory to conduct all their employment-related testing. Organizations that require drug
testing must notify all applicants that such testing is a requirement of employment.
Pre-employment testing is just that: persons who are hired must pass a drug screen as a condition of
employment. Some organizations limit testing to pre-employment tests; some retest employees after
they have completed their probationary employment period. Some organizations test universally,
which means all employees are tested periodically, with test times being selected randomly, so no
one will have the advantage of knowing when the test will be conducted.; however, most cannot
afford the cost of universal testing. Instead, many organizations test only a few employees at a
time, using a random selection process, and some test only when a violation of the policy has
VIOLATIONS and CONSEQUENCES: The policy includes information on the consequences of violations of the
drug-free workplace policy, which may range from reprimand to suspension, with or without pay, and/or
probation, demotion and/or termination.
PREVENTION: The policy usually includes information on drug-free workplace education and
information, which may be limited to printed information about the contents of the policy or may
require comprehensive training for supervisors and/or all employees.
ASSISTANCE: Some organizations provide an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and if so, the policy
will describe the availability, benefits and use of the EAP in support of the drug-free workplace